Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a condition that makes it difficult for people to control their attention and behavior. It usually appears before age seven. ADHD symptoms may create difficulties getting work done. Symptoms may also affect relationships with friends and family.
It is common to have a hard time focusing on schoolwork sometimes, or to occasionally be impulsive in decision making. These symptoms by themselves do not mean that you have ADHD.
Although symptoms of the disorder vary by individual and can range from mild to severe, some of the most common signs are:
Other behaviors related to ADHD are chronic lateness and forgetfulness, anxiety, difficulty organizing, difficulty controlling anger, impulsiveness, and substance abuse.
People with ADHD are easily distracted by sights and sounds in their environment, cannot concentrate for long periods of time, are often restless, have a tendency to daydream, and may be slow to complete tasks.
Studies show that men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with ADHD, and that between 2 and 6% of the adult population has the disorder. At least one student in every classroom in the United States has been diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD should only be diagnosed by an experienced and qualified professional such as an educational psychologist or a psychiatrist. Since the symptoms of ADHD are common to may other conditions, you should never self-diagnose. Instead, seek a comprehensive evaluation from a qualified professional. A comprehensive evaluation may include exploring personal and family medical history, and psychological testing. Hall Health is unable to perform ADD/ADHD evaluations. If you are in need of an evaluation, please see our page on ADD/ADHD Testing and Medication Resources.
More information about ADHD can be found at:
Authored by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic
Reviewed by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic and Hall Health Primary Care Clinic (GLC), April 2014
Kim Barrett, PhD, (206) 685-8391
Belle Chenault, PhD, NCSP, (206) 465-8068
Rochelle Coffey, PsyD, (206) 947-4411
Fremont Community Therapy, 3417 Fremont Ave No #225, Seattle, WA, (206) 633-2405 (sliding scale)
Russ Hanford, PhD, (206) 409-9613
Kim Kendall, PhD, (206) 329-8845
The Learn Clinic (located on UW campus at Guthrie Annex 1), (206) 543-6511
Jennifer Watson, PhD, 1314 NE 43rd St, (206) 331-2453